Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Grand Strategist's Advice to The President.

Thomas Barnett spent the past week in Washington D.C. during the inauguration. He twittered and blogged The long and winding road about his experiences as he joined the festivities in between meetings with visiting representatives from the Kurdish province of Iraq.

Tom's column this week offers up some free advice for President Obama about the importance of continuing Americas leadership in globalization.

Dour experts tell us that this is no longer our world. America is in decline, they say, and the rest of the world has caught up to us. Wars may be won, but the peace belongs to others -- we just have to get used to it.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a world of our making. Neither accident nor providence, this "flat world" is fundamentally our design -- a template of networks spreading, economies integrating, and states uniting. It's hyper-competitive because that's our natural habitat; we don't know how to make it any other way.

In this world we find no strangers, just younger versions of ourselves who are prone to all the same sins and manias we once suffered, even as they teach us magnificent new ways to secure our tightly shared future. We must neither fear nor dismiss them, but encourage their pursuit of happiness. In doing so, we'll find their main goal is one very familiar to us -- the attainment of a middle-class existence.

Barnett closes with this advise for President Obama.

That the same is now true for this globalization-of-our-making should not cause us despair. We have been down this path before, taming both a wilderness and the market forces we later unleashed upon its settled lands. We are simply blessed today by a global economy whose expansion has already surpassed all past hopes and dreams for a connected, super empowered world. So many frontiers, so little time.

President Obama's opportunity to -- as he has so often put it -- "turn the page" could not be greater, for history rarely offers such made-to-order turning points. America has done a world of good to get humanity to the point where wars are disappearing and networks are proliferating. As long as we can remember what got us here, trust me, we'll recognize the shape of things to come.

Read the article.
Barnett: Obama must recognize and renew U.S. lead on globalization

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